One of the worst-case scenarios a company faces is a data or security breach. Because of this, organizations go to great measures to protect their software, data, and sensitive information from outside threats. While doing so is necessary and a good business practice, it’s also important that companies protect themselves from insider threats. No one wants to think that they have an employee who would harm the business intentionally, but it does happen, so it is important to know the warning signs as well as how to protect your company.
What is Insider Threat?
Insider threat is defined by the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center as a current or former employee, contractor, or business partner who has authorized access to an organization’s network, system, or data, and intentionally misuses that access to harm the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of information or information systems.
Some types of insider threats include:
- Theft of intellectual property such as trade secrets, strategic plans, and other confidential information
- Information Technology (IT) sabotage
- Economic espionage
- Competitive advantage
How to Protect Your Company
Any type of insider threat mitigation program requires the support and involvement of senior leadership, and it is important that all members of your company or organization are active in the education and awareness required to prevent insider threat.
Recognize the Signs
There should be a baseline for normal employee behavior. This will make it easier for you to detect deviations in normal behavior. Here are some behavioral signs to watch for:
- Compulsive behavior
- Disgruntled attitude
- Passive-aggressiveness or rebellion
- Ethical “flexibility”
- Reduced loyalty
- Inability to assume responsibility for mistakes or negative actions
- Lack of empathy
- Computer access or login times outside of normal hours, or an eagerness to work odd hours
- Unexplained increases in wealth
- Deterioration of job performance
What Insider Threat is Not
Sometimes an unhappy employee is just that. However, it is a good idea to monitor employees who are disgruntled to ensure that they do not cause problems by discouraging other employees or becoming increasingly unhappy themselves.
Additionally, the following procedures and training should be implemented in your business to help build awareness and education among your employees:
- Mandatory training on how to use information and information systems properly and how to report incidents (Global Learning System’s Security Awareness Training is an excellent option.)
- Training focused on social engineering, unintentional leaks, and social media safe practices so your staff learns how to protect information in the office and at home
- Training that helps cut down on human error causing security concerns by improving your Human Firewall
- Required Ethics Training for all employees
Global Learning Systems provides an entire suite of training products to address any type of security concern you have within your company. Companies must protect themselves from threats coming from both inside and outside of the business’ walls. By implementing an insider threat mitigation program, you could potentially save your business from financial and information loss as well as a ruined reputation.